HC Deb 17 February 1959 vol 600 cc181-2
24. Mr. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the estimated consumption of cigarettes in the United Kingdom for 1958; how many were filter-tipped; and what were the corresponding figures in 1951.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

It is estimated that consumers' expenditure at 1954 prices on cigarettes in 1957, the latest year for which figures are available, was £804 million. In 1951 it was £695 million. Official estimates of expenditure on filter-tipped cigarettes have not been made.

Mr. Osborne

My hon. Friend has not quite given the answer I wanted. Could he give the numbers, not the value? I asked for the estimated numbers.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

Actually, my hon. Friend referred to the consumption; he did not ask for numbers. I gave the best answer available from the statistics at our disposal.

Dr. Stross

Will the Minister bear in mind that this is a very important question and that it would be desirable to know whether there has been a substantial increase in the smoking of filtertipped cigarettes? The reason for it is, at least in part, that any rubbish can be smoked through a filter-tipped cigarette and that this affects the country from which we import our tobacco.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

These statistics are not collected by any Government Department, but I will bear in mind what the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) said.

Mr. Fort

Would my hon. Friend consult the Minister of Health about collecting figures with regard to filter-tipped cigarettes in view of their possible importance in the incidence of lung cancer?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I have made my views on the matter known to the House on previous occasions.

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